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Petroleum fund raises fuel prices

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Ntsebeng Motsoeli

MASERU — Motorists in Maseru will now pay an extra 35 lisente for a litre of petrol after the Petroleum Fund hiked the price of the commodity to M10.90 a litre on Friday.
A litre of diesel now costs 20 lisente more while the wholesale price of paraffin has also been increased by 20 lisente.
Diesel will now cost not less than M11.45 per litre while domestic paraffin now costs about M8.60 per litre at wholesale price.
Petroleum Fund technical officer, Lebohang Makhoali, said the prices are slightly higher in the highland zones.
He said this is due to the higher costs of transporting fuel to such places as Mphaki, Thaba-Tseka and Mokhotlong.
“Fuel is distributed to four zones across the country whereby Zone One covers the lowlands including Quthing town up to Mount Moorosi and Qacha’s Nek. Zone Two covers Mphaki, Zone Three Thaba-Tseka while Mokhlotlong is in Zone Four,” Makhoali said.
The main reason for the increase is that our petroleum products were experiencing unit slate under-recoveries as at the end of January 2013, which has been caused mainly by the depreciation of the Rand against the US dollar (to which the Loti is tied), according to a press release from the Petroleum Fund.
The Fund has warned the public to be aware of retailers who charge prices higher than those stipulated. The Fund warned it will take legal action against profiteering retailers.
“The Petroleum Fund wishes to appeal to all retailers to charge proper prices because it is illegal to charge prices that are different from the gazetted ones,” it said.
“There have been tendencies in the past by some retailers of charging prices that are above those set, this should not happen, and any retailer who will be found in contravention of this, shall be prosecuted accordingly.
“The public is further made aware that there is a toll free number 80022004 to which any non-compliance can be reported,” it said.

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